Original is here Ў http://home1.swipnet.se/~w-10694/helpers.html
The "ready-to-go" Solaris Helpers Page
|Last modified: January 21|
|What's wrong, what's missing? Send comments and|
suggestions to Johan.Hagman@mailbox.swipnet.se
W h a t ' s N e w
A new, higher performance MPEG video player mtv
(MpegTV player) is available from the company MpegTV, as a commercial
alternative to mpeg_play.
Table of Contents (links to
page sections are in the left column)
|Overview||What is this page all about?|
Supported file types
|Browser interface||About Netscape and MIME types|
|Program index||Browser utilities|
|Netscape plugins||Tcl/Tk plugin from SunLabs|
|Tools & Utilities||Additional Solaris programs|
|Setup & Configurations||Web-related setup information|
Netscape 2.x users: this page uses table background colors,
supported in Netscape 3.x. Use version 3.x if possible.
Go here to view a listing of the page change history
Helper applications are programs that are assigned to handle multimedia
file formats (audio, video, images etc) that a web browser itself does
not understand. This page contains helper applications and set-up instructions
for Solaris versions of Netscape Navigator. The helper programs are verified
with Netscape 3.x, and I believe everything except plugins (and the
HTML table background colors on this page) also works with the 2.x version.
"Ready-to-go" means that no source code for the helper applications
can be downloaded from this page, only binaries and documentation. But
most of the programs are freely available on the net as source code. They
are copyrighted by their respective authors, who I have contacted to get
permission for making only the binaries available here.
Except for a number of bug fixes and functionality or performance
improvements, the binaries have been compiled directly from the source
code pointed to
by the "home" link for each application. The material placed
on this page is provided "as is". I have verified the correctness
of this information the best I can, but I do no take responsibility for
any errors or damages that may result from the usage of this information.
The SPARC executables run on Solaris 2.4 or later releases, but because of
their general nature, they can of course just as well be used standalone
or as helpers for other HTML browsers. SPARC binaries are compiled and
optimized for the sun4m architecture (SPARC V8) using the latest Sun
compiler, SPARCompiler 4.0. SPARC audio applications are built for and
tested on systems with 16-bit (CD quality) audio, but should also work with
the older 8-bit (phone quality) audio interface. See the man pages for
Solaris/x86 binares are created with Sun ProCompiler 3.0.1 on
Solaris/x86 version 2.5.
This table is a summary of the multimedia file formats that become supported
if all helper applications on this page are installed. Netscape will start
the appropriate helper if the data arrives from an HTTP server (assuming
that the server is properly configured), by FTP, as attachment in
Netscape news or Netscape mail (by clicking the attachment) or when loaded
from a local file.
|Multimedia type||File extension|
|Audio formats||Sun audio|
mod xm s3m stm...
X Window Dump
|VRML (Virtual Reality|
|Scripting languages||Tcl/Tk "tclet"||tcl|
The browser interface
When Netscape loads data by HTTP, it first checks if it can handle the
MIME type in the protocol itself (HTML text, GIF or JPEG image,
etc), then checks if a helper application is defined in the ~/.mailcap
file for that MIME type. If there is one, the data is sent to the helper
application as a temporary file, otherwise Netscape pops up a "Save
As..." file selector. The extension of the file that is downloaded
doesn't matter in this case.
On the other hand, if a local file is opened or a file is downloaded
by FTP, Netscape uses the ~/.mime.types file to look up the MIME type for the
file, identified by the file extension. Unlike some earlier browsers, Netscape
has a long list of built-in MIME types (the complete list can be found
and doesn't normally need any mime.types file at all. But this page defines
helpers for a number of file types it doesn't know about (mid, fli, flc, wrl
and all the module audio file types mod, xm, s3m, stm, mtm, ult, uni and it),
and a ~/.mime.types file must therefore be installed. To
better document the setup and make things work with other browsers, it
contains the complete list of types.
It is still possible to save file types that have had helper applications
defined for them by shift-clicking the left mouse button or selecting "Save
Link As.." from the menu (right button).
The applications are divided into categories (audio, video, ...) and the
structure of each application that can be downloaded as a binary from this
page is identical: first a short description with usage hints, then four
Setup information for applications that can be downloaded
as Solaris binaries from other sites (Adobe Acrobat Reader, VRweb, etc)
have three links: Download, Home, Vendor. The Download link should
lead to the vendor's download page or anonymous ftp site.
Below the links are additional installation instructions (which are only
necessary for a few programs), and then a table listing the mime.types
and mailcap definitions for the application. To make it possible
to verify that the
programs really work after the installation, most
applications also have one or more test files (located below the table).
All test files are believed to be in the public domain, but I will remove
any files that are not such at the copyright owner's request.
Open the Options->General Preferences window and click "Ok"
to close it again. This makes Netscape read the new mime.types and mailcap
Then download the helpers applications you are interested in and install
the binaries and manual pages. The only program that includes files that
must be installed in a specific location is TiMidity (but there's a workaround,
see the TiMidity installation instructions).
Click each "test" link to verify that the helpers applications
work as expected.
Setup instructions and download information are currently available
for the following programs (links to the application categories are in the
The programs on a red background can be downloaded as Solaris binaries
from this page, and the programs on a white background are already part of
Solaris or can be downloaded as binaries from other sites, with
links from this page.
Sorry Netscape 2.x users, you can't see the colors. But
to make life easier, the binaries that are available for download from this
page are marked with an asterisk.
|xplay 0.7*||mikmod 2.13*||raplayer 3.0|
|maplay 1.3 beta*||timidity 0.2i*|
|Video players:||xanim 22.214.171.124*||mpeg_play 2.0*||mtv 0.9|
|Image viewers:||xli 1.16*||xtiff 2.0*|
|Document viewers:||pageview||acroread 3.0|
|VRML browsers:||VRweb 1.3||Liquid Reality 1.0|
|Netscape plugins:||Tcl/Tk plugin 1.1||acroread 3.0||CoolTalk|
|Tools & Utilities:||sox 11.12*||xautolock 1.10*||xv 3.10a*|
XPlayGizmo 1.0 is a utility that was written for use with NCSA
Mosaic. It is a small control panel that pops up after the browser invokes
an external sound player or movie viewer, and makes it possible to play
sound and movie files multiple times without multiple data transfers. Downloaded
sounds/movies can also be saved to local files.
Note: XPlayGizmo must be installed if you intend to use the maplay
(MPEG audio player) or mikmod (MOD player) helpers with the default mailcap
file provided on this page.
xplay 0.7 is a utility for playing audio files of type .au
(Sun audio files), .wav (Windows 3.0 WAVE format) and .aiff
(Apple/SGI AIFF file). It opens a small audio control window with
pause/rewind/save/volume controls, much like xplaygizmo. The popup window
automatically exits after 3 seconds of inactivity.
The program has restrictions: compressed AIFF and WAVE files are
not supported and the number of WAVE formats that can be played are
limited, but it adapts the input to the available hardware, doing rate-conversion
and converting stereo to mono as required for the older 8-bit harware,
while taking advantage of the 16-bit CD-quality audio interface on newer
|Author:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert S. Thau)|
|audio/basic au snd||xplay -geometry +10+10 %s|
|audio/x-wav wav||xplay -geometry +10+10 %s|
|audio/x-aiff aif aiff aifc faif||xplay -geometry +10+10 %s|
|baritone.au (32K, 8-bit 8KHz Sun|
|gday.wav (38K, WAVE audio file)|
|testing.aiff (22K, AIFF audio file)|
maplay 1.3 beta is the second release of an MPEG audio player/decoder
that decodes layer I and II MPEG audio streams and plays them using the
CD-quality Sun audio device. The player supports all modes (single channel,
stereo, joint stereo and dual channel) and all bit rates except free mode.
MPEG audio compression uses a lossy compression algorithm that achieves
a compression rate of 1:3 up to 1:24 compared to raw PCM data.
|Author:||email@example.com (Tobias Bading)|
Note: The Solaris/x86 version may require one of the
-amd, -l, -r options (or a combination of them) to open
the audio device properly.
|audio/x-mpeg mp2||xplaygizmo -pq maplay %s -geometry +10+10|
intro.mp2 (118K, MPEG audio file)
mikmod 2.13 is a portable module player written
originally by Jean-Paul Mikkers (MikMak). It plays the XM, MOD, MTM,
S3M, STM, ULT and UNI module formats, and IT support is currently being
worked on. The Unix version of the player is controllable via
an ncurses interface and extracts and plays modules from a variety of
archive formats. As of version 1.90 and higher, mikmod is shareware.
This only means that you have to give the author a one-time $25 US
registration fee if you want to use mikmod commercially. See
register.frm included in the archive for more information.
The following keyboard commands are recognized
when files are played from the command line
<space> pause (also releases sound device until needed again)
n, down, CR next mod
p, up restart current/previous mod
>, right next pattern
<, left restart current/previous pattern
, down tempo
. up tempo
/ normal tempo
- down volume
+ up volume
* normal volume
d toggle deletion marking on/off
y delete current mod if marked
The Solaris binary that can be downloaded here includes three performance
enhancements and a new "quiet mode" command line option -q which
makes it possible to use mikmod as a helper application.
|Author:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve McIntyre)|
|audio/x-mod mod xm s3m \|
stm mtm ult uni it
|xplaygizmo -pq mikmod -q %s \|
short.mod (25K, MOD file)
If this test file works, visit the Mod Archive at
some more songs. Anything except files with extension .it should play, for example
http://www.modarchive.com/cgi/download.cgi?C/COOL.STM (98K) and
Another place to look for mod files is the newsgroup
TiMidity 0.2i is a MIDI to WAVE converter that uses Gravis
Ultrasound-compatible patch files to generate digital audio data from General
MIDI files. The audio data can be played through any sound device
or stored to disk. On fast machines, music can be played in real time.
TiMidity runs under Linux, FreeBSD, HP-UX, SunOS, Solaris and Win32.
The default mailcap file starts up TiMidity to output audio data in
real-time, mono mode, at a sample rate of 22.05 kHz. It is possible to
increase the sampling frequency and switch to stereo to get even better sound
quality (and consume more CPU). Take a look at the midiplay script
(see below) for a list of valid sampling frequencies and the stereo/mono
The TiMidity volume control may be a little confusing. It controls the
volume of the sound that is generated and not the volume control of the
workstation. Because the output is buffered, volume changes are delayed.
It's easier to use /usr/openwin/bin/audiocontrol as volume control
|Author:||email@example.com (Tuukka Toivonen)|
Note: the timidity tar file includes another tar file usr-local-lib-timidity.tar
in addition to the binary and documentation. This file contains a number
of configuration files and two sound patches that must be installed in
/usr/local/lib/timidity (the path name is compiled into the binary).
To install the config and patch files, create the directory /usr/local/lib/timidity
and extract the tar file from that directory.
Root access is normally needed to create directories and files in /usr/local/lib,
but it should also be possible to install the config file somewhere else
by pointing to it with the -c command line option. In this case, the config
file must be edited to load the instrument patches from the new location.
Because TiMidity is released under the terms of the GNU General Public
License, the file "timidity-solarisDiffs.29sep96" that
contains my source code changes is also included. To add these fixes to the
original 0.2i source code, patch the source using this command "patch
-p < timidity-solarisDiffs.29sep96".
|audio/x-midi mid midi||timidity -s 22050 -imq -OdM %s|
cavatina.mid (6K, General MIDI file)
Only guitar and piano audio patches are included in the TiMidity tar
file, but it's possible to download a complete sound patch collection for
the General MIDI instrument set from the MIDIA archive: ftp://archive.cs.umbc.edu/pub/midia/instruments.tar.gz
To install the instrument files, cd to /usr/local/lib/timidity
and extract instruments.tar.gz there (or extract it somewhere
else and make "instruments" a symbolic link to wherever
it's installed), then get this new timidity.cfg
configuration file and copy it to the same directory (but save a backup
copy of the original file as timidity.cfg.orig first).
Now TiMidity is ready to play the full General MIDI instrument set!
Try this Rush favourite "Tom Sawyer" from Moving Pictures
sawyer.mid (36K, General MIDI file)
Here is also a little utility of my own, a script midiplay
that starts TiMidity with the same options as mailcap does. Put it in the
search path, and you can type "midiplay yourfile.mid"
to play MIDI files from the command line.
raplayer 3.0 is the popular RealAudio player that plays audio
in real time over 14.4 or 28.8 modems. Version 3.0 supports broadcast-quality
audio, including stereo at 28.8 kbps speeds and near-CD quality at ISDN and LAN
speeds. Solaris 2.4 users must currently still download the 2.0 version.
The player is free for individual use.
(36 bytes, RealAudio 2.0 audio format)
(36 bytes, RealAudio 3.0 audio format)
|audio/x-pn-realaudio ra ram||raplayer %s|
|welcom288.ra (27K, RealAudio 28.8|
file). This file is
played non-streaming from the HTTP server.
|The following two files initiate streaming-audio connections from|
and play techno by G.O.T - "Runnin High"
Netscape includes built-in support for GIF89 animations, but many sites
misuse this feature by putting dozens of animations on a single HTML page, which may
slow down the browser too much.
Here is a simple, lightweight example: a beating heart.
Press the Stop button to stop the animation (this only works in Netscape 3.x).
XAnim 126.96.36.199 is a well-known program on Unix systems for displaying
animations, video and audio files of various formats. It also provides
many options that allow the user to alter colormaps, playback speed, looping
modes and it can provide on-the-fly scaling of animiations.
|Author:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Podlipec)|
|video/quicktime qt mov||xanim +Zpe +q %s 2>&1 >/dev/null|
|video/x-msvideo avi||xanim +Zpe +q %s 2>&1 >/dev/null|
|video/x-fli fli||xanim +Zpe +q %s 2>&1 >/dev/null|
|video/x-flc flc||xanim +Zpe +q %s 2>&1 >/dev/null|
|third.mov (78K, QuickTime movie)|
|dcx7.avi (87, AVI movie including a|
|fr3.fli (127K, FLI movie)|
|bush1.flc (52K, FLC movie)|
mpeg_play 2.0 MI is a public domain MPEG video decoder, that
displays an MPEG-1 video stream in an X window. This particular version
(MI) has an improved Motif user interface. It plays only MPEG-1 video streams,
and can not handle multiplexed MPEG or video+audio streams.
|Author:||email@example.com (Daeron Meyer)|
|video/mpeg mpeg mpg mpe||mpeg_play -quiet %s|
head.mpg (61K, MPEG-1 movie)
mtv 0.9 (MpegTV player) is a real time software-only
MPEG-1 video player with audio/sync for Unix/X-Windows platforms
with 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit or 32-bit frame buffers.
The MpegTV player plays MPEG-1 video and systems streams with Layer I
and II audio in realtime. Audio is played in sync with video and
graceful degradation is achieved with frame dropping if necessary.
Free demo versions of the player can be downloaded for Solaris
(SPARC/UltraSPARC) or Linux (x86 ELF), but the demo versions
are time limited and the audio is disabled after 30 seconds.
To install the MpegTV player as the MPEG video helper application (as a
replacement for mpeg_play), follow the installation instructions on the home page
and simply edit ~/.mailcap and replace the startup command for the
video/mpeg MIME type "mpeg_play -quiet %s" (see mpeg_play
above) with "mtv %s".
|Download:||MpegTV home page|
Solaris Netscape supports the most popular web image types GIF, JPEG
and X bitmaps, but doesn't have built-in support for other formats. Therefore,
some external image viewers might be useful.
xli 1.16 is a version of xloadimage that can view several image
types under X11, or load images onto the root window. A variety of options
are available to modify images prior to viewing. These options include
clipping, dithering, depth reducing, zoom, brightening or darkening, input
gamma correction and image merging.
The default mailcap configuration starts xli with the -fit -colordither
options to avoid colormap flashing, but to get the best possible color
quality the options can be removed if colormap flashing is acceptable.
Type xli -support to see the supported image types.
|Author:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Graeme Gill)|
|image/x-portable-bitmap pbm||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-portable-graymap pgm||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-portable-pixmap ppm||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-portable-anymap pnm||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-cmu-raster ras||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-xpixmap xpm||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-xwindowdump xwd||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
|image/x-photo-cd pcd||xli -fit -colordither -quiet %s|
[Type q inside the xli window to close the window]
|spectrum.pbm (2K, PBM monochrome|
|spectrum.pgm (14K, PGM grayscale|
|spectrum.ppm (42K, PPM color image)|
|blackflames.pnm (16K, PNM monocrome/grayscale/color|
|bug.ras (15K, Sunraster image)|
|xtfn.xpm (13K, X Pixmap)|
|rip.xwd (8K, X Window dump)|
The mailcap entry also defines xli as a helper for the Photo CD format,
but a Photo CD test file is too big to include on this page.
By the way, if you are interested in using Photo CD images in web browsers,
and read about "Photo CD on the Web", a new technology for interactively
zooming, panning and enlarging Photo CD images in most popular web browsers.
A collection of Photo CD links can be found at http://www.kodak.com/digitalImages/cS/sites.shtml
xtiff 2.0 is a tool for viewing TIFF files. The xtiff
source release contains two user interfaces: an Xlib and an Athena
widgets version. This is the Xlib version with one enhancement: the q key
can be used to exit the viewer (like xli and xv). xtiff has two major limitations:
it always installs a private colormap (which results in colormap flashing)
and it cannot dither images that are deeper than the available visuals.
|xtiff-2_0.tgz (73 K)|
|xtiff-2_0-x86.tgz (57 K)|
|xtiff -geometry +10+10 %s|
[Type q inside the xtiff window to close the window]
fishes.tif (22K, TIFF image)
pageview is a PostScipt viewer that is part of the OpenWindows
deskset. It should always be available in a CDE and OpenWindows environment
in /usr/openwin/bin. No installation or special configuration is necessary
for this application.
|application/postscript ai eps ps||pageview -geometry 495x700 -dpi 60 %s|
illusion.ps (1K, Postscript document)
acroread 3.0 (Acrobat Reader) is the latest version of a
free utility for viewing, navigating, and printing Adobe Acrobat PDF
files. It also offers new
features like progressive display, font blitting and antialiased text.
The 3.0 version also runs as a Netscape plugin.
|application/pdf pdf||acroread %s|
cookbook.pdf (8K, Adobe Acrobat document)
Both VRML 1.0 and 2.0 worlds have the same MIME type. Because there
aren't any VRML browsers that can load both the 1.0 and 2.0 file formats, I
have written a generic startup script dispatch-vrml that determines
the version number by looking at the first "magic" line, and
starts the appropriate browser. The script starts VRweb to view VRML 1.0
files, and for VRML 2.0 files, it first builds a temporary HTML file in
/tmp which references the VRML file. The Java appletviewer is then
called to visualize the VRML object using the Liquid Reality Java toolkit.
Begin the VRML installation by downloading the script, and install it
in the search path.
|x-world/x-vrml wrl||dispatch-vrml %s %u; \|
VRweb 1.3 is a browser for 3D worlds and objects modeled in the
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). VRweb is the only VRML browser
which is freely available in complete source code (under the GNU General
Public License). It does not require commercial packages such as Inventor
or Motif, and is capable of running on many platforms.
The VRweb project began as a joint project between IICM, NCSA and the
University of Minnesota.
vrml1monolithes.wrl (9K, VRML 1.0
Liquid Reality 1.0 is a VRML toolkit from Dimension X. The
toolkit is a set of Java class libraries that offers VRML 2.0 functionality.
With the toolkit, it is possible to create viewers, tools, and solutions that
are VRML 2.0 compliant. In addition, the toolkit is extensible using Java.
Installation: This is more complicated than the VRweb installation.
Download Liquid Reality 1.0 beta 11 for Solaris from Dimension X using the
link above. But Liquid Reality won't run alone, it needs a Java environment.
As it currently is not supported in Netscape 3.x, the choice is simple:
download JDK (Java Development Kit) 1.0.2 from SunSoft to get the applet
Now proceed like this:
Set the environment variable LREALITY to where you want to
install Liquid Reality, for example /usr/local/vrml/lr-1.0b11,
and install the product there
% setenv LREALITY /usr/local/vrml/lr-1.0b11
% mkdir -p $LREALITY
% cd $LREALITY
% gtar xzvf lr-sol10b11.tar.gz
Set the environment variable JDK to where you want to
install JDK 1.0.2, for example /usr/local/java/jdk-1.0.2,
and install the product there
% setenv JDK /usr/local/java/jdk-1.0.2
% mkdir -p $JDK
% cd $JDK
% gtar xzvf JDK-1_0_2-solaris2-sparc.tar.Z
Edit ~/.login and add the "setenv" definitions of LREALITY and JDK above.
The variables are only set to simplify the installation and have no
meaning to any of the products.
Create a link in $JDK/java/lib/sparc to $LREALITY/lib/sparc/libdnxice.so
% ln -s $LREALITY/lib/sparc/libdnxice.so $JDK/java/lib/sparc
After this, exit and restart Netscape with the new environment
% netscape &
The VRML 2.0 test link should now start up an appler viewer window
that displays the same VRML object as the VRML 1.0 test link.
vrml2monolithes.wrl (25K, VRML 2.0
Liquid Reality demos: to interactively run the demos, a few more
things need to be done
Add $JDK/java/bin to the search path in order to find appletviewer
% set path=($path $JDK/java/bin)
Include the Liquid Reality classes directory in CLASSPATH
% setenv CLASSPATH $LREALITY/classes
Compile and run the cube demo
% cd $LREALITY/demo/ice
% javac Cube.java
% appletviewer cube.html
Run the viewer demo
% cd $LREALITY/demo/lr
% appletviewer index.html
VRML 1.0 to 2.0 translation
Sony has developed a VRML 1.0 to 2.0 converter
"vrml1to2" that can be downloaded as a Solaris executable from
I have used version 1.4b of this converter to translate vrml1monolithes.wrl
to vrml2monolithes.wrl with the command "vrml1to2 vrml1monolithes.wrl
Tcl/Tk plugin 1.1 from SunLabs. The
1.1 version supports the following platforms: Solaris/SPARC,
Solaris/Intel, SunOS, Windows 95, Windows NT, Macintosh, Linux, IRIX,
Digital Unix and
HP/UX. The scripts (or "Netscape Tcl tclets") that can be
executed with this plugin are normal Tcl/Tk scripts, but they run in a
slightly more restricted "Safe Tcl" environment (it's not
allowed to read or write to local files by default, for example).
The 2.0 version of the plugin is also available as an alpha release.
http://www.sunlabs.com/tcl/plugin/ (about 740K)
A number of demo tclets come with the plugin distribution, and can also
be found on http://www.sunlabs.com/tcl/plugin/.
The demos include: calculating mortgage
payments, calculator, tetris, 15-puzzle, animated coffee, eyes that watch
you, ticker tape example, line drawing program, draging text, tracing mouse
events, oval drawing, bike gear ratio calculator, biorhythm clock, card
game and a tcl evaluator. The FAQ for this software package is at http://www.sunlabs.com/tcl/plugin/faq.html
Contact: email@example.com (Jacob Levy)
Here is another tclet list extracted from
comp.lang.tcl FAQ part4, August 27.
Acrobat Reader 3.0 is the latest version of the free PDF
reader from Adobe. The 3.0 version makes it possible to view PDF documents
inside HTML browsers (since the reader can be installed as a plug-in) and
offers new features like progressive display, font blitting and antialiased
CoolTalk is an Internet telephone tool that provides
high-quality audio conferencing, a full-featured whiteboard, and text-based
communications using the chat tool. With CoolTalk you can talk and work
collaboratively with friends and colleagues via the Internet. Because
CoolTalk works seamlessly with Navigator 3.x, calls can be sent and received
directly from web pages.
http://home.netscape.com/.../download_cooltalk.html (about 5.7MB)
Tools & Utilities
The following programs are not
assigned as helper applications in the default mailcap file.
mpeg3play 0.9 is an MPEG audio layer 2 and layer 3 audio decoder/player
based on public ISO/MPEG audio decoder source code. The original software
is a slow but portable MPEG to AIFF decoder, impossible to use as
a real-time player.
I have optimized the source code to the point where it becomes possible to use
the decoder for real-time playback, and have modified it for output
to the Solaris audio device. Version 0.9 is the first release
to appear on this page.
MPEG layer 3 is a powerful audio encoding format. It can serve
as an efficient compression format (with a compression ratio of around 12:1)
for storage and playback of local files,
but more interestingly, it can handle compressed audio
at bit rates low enough to stream over the Internet. Even
bit rates of 16 kbit/s, suitable for 28.8 modem connections, are supported.
It's also ideal for Usenet postings, because you don't have to download all
parts of a song to hear it - just download one of the parts and listen to it!
But it certainly isn't necessary to write a complete MPEG layer 3
tutorial here, such information already exists on the Web. See this small
MPEG layer 3 information page
where I have collected some pointers to more information.
mpeg3play is not yet defined as a helper application on this page
(as a replacement for maplay) because version 0.9 is the first, experimental
release. See below instructions for how to install it as a streaming
audio player for Netscape 3.x by editing the .mime.types
and .mailcap files. First download the Solaris/SPARC binary
and install it in your search path
ftp://ftp.tnt.uni-hannover.de/pub/.../dist08.tar.gz (original source)
Edit ~/.mime.types and add the .mp3 extension, which maps locally
loaded files or files downloaded by FTP to the MIME type audio/x-mpeg
audio/x-mpeg mp2 mp3
To define mpeg3play as the helper application for MPEG layer 2 and layer 3
files, ~/.mailcap could be changed to simply start mpeg3play
instead of maplay, but then audio streaming would not work. Edit
~/.mailcap like this instead
audio/x-mpeg; mpeg3play -f -; stream-buffer-size=16000
audio/mpeg; mpeg3play -f -; stream-buffer-size=16000
This change will make Netscape open an "Audio Question" popup when it
begins to download
MPEG audio. The popup asks you to "Play from Network" or "Save First".
Select "Play from Network" only if your network connection is fast enough to
stream the data. "Save First" selects a non-streaming download that gets
the complete file before mpeg3play is started to play it.
Here are three CD quality or near-CD quality audio files that need
to be "Saved First". The drums sounds are recorded directly from my Roland
JV-30 GM synth. The layer 3 encoding shows almost no audible degradation,
but high frequencies in the layer 2 file sound "raw" and some spurious noice
is introduced (listen carefully at the end of the sample). Note that
only UltraSPARC CPUs can decode the layer 3 drum sound in
real time (a 50MHz SuperSPARC is at least not fast enough).
(7 sec, 56 kbit/s, 22.1kHz mono, 49K, ratio 6.2:1)
(7 sec, 112 kbit/s, 44.1kHz stereo, 102K, ratio 12.5:1)
(7 sec, 112 kbit/s, 44.1kHz stereo, 102K, ratio 12.5:1)
Use "Play from Network" for the following files. The 16 kbit/s files
stream fine over a 28.8 modem, but the 24 kbit/s file requires a slightly
faster connection to avoid drop-outs.
(3 min 35 sec, 16 kbit/s, 16kHz mono, 419K, ratio 16:1)
(24kbit/s, 22kHz version of the above. 630K, ratio 14.7:1)
(50 sec, 16 kbit/s, 22kHz mono, 97K, ratio 22:1)
Performance note: with the current version of mpeg3play, a 16 kbit/s,
22kHz layer 3 mono file is about the maximum that a 60MHz MicroSPARC II
can handle when the data streams through Netscape (which
adds some overhead).
Other 16 kbit/s streaming sounds for 28.8 modem connections are on
Miyaguchi's excellent page
- Star Wars theme (3 min 45 sec)
- Jurassic Park theme (4 min 39 sec)
- A Whole New World from Disney's Aladdin (4 min 2 sec)
- 24kbit/s version of the above
- Title theme from "Out of Africa" (3 min 7 sec)
Known problems with mpeg3play version 0.9
To decode a CD quality layer 3 bitstream in real time is a very
The UltraSPARC does it, but SuperSPARC/HyperSPARC CPUs may not be fast
enough, at least with the current version of mpeg3play. Even Fraunhofer's
l3dec player sometimes runs out of CPU with 44.1kHz, 128 kbit/s layer 3
stereo files. In such cases, use the mpeg3play -o option to decode to
an AIFF file, which can be played with xplay or converted to a Sun
audio file using sox.
Source code availability
To encourage ports to other systems, the mpeg3play source code is
also available. But note that this is the portable C version, and not
quite as optimized as the Solaris binary which includes three functions
optimized in SPARC assembly. See the README file in the archive for
To make it easier to update and improve mpeg3play, I would
like to be notified of enhancements to this source, so that they can
be merged into future versions of mpeg3play.
sox 11.12 (SOund eXchange) is a universal sound sample
translator that can convert between a number of audio file formats
and apply sound effects to audio samples.
This release understands "raw" files in various binary formats,
raw textual data, Microsoft Windows .WAV files, MAUD files,
Sound Blaster .VOC files, IRCAM SoundFile files, Sun .au files,
mutant DEC .au files, Apple/SGI AIFF files,
CD-R (music CD format), Macintosh HCOM files, Sounder files,
NeXT .snd files, Sun ADPCM (compressed) .au files,
Soundtool (DOS) files, and Psion (palmtop) A-law files.
The sound effects include changing the sample rate, adding echo
delay lines, applying low, high, and band-pass filtering,
examining sample loops and grabbing the looped parts, translating
between stereo and monophonic channels,
reversing a sample, adding masking noise to avoid buzzing voices,
and the infamous Fender Vibro effect.
|Author:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Lance Norskog)|
xautolock 1.10 monitors console activity, and fires up a
program of you choice if nothing happens during a user configurable period
of time. You can use xautolock to automatically start up a screen locker
in case you tend to forget to do so manually.
It is also possible to tell xautolock to take special actions when you
move the mouse pointer into one of the screen corners and leave it there.
|Authors:||email@example.com (Stefan De Troch)|
firstname.lastname@example.org (Michel Eyckmans)
Here is a suggested configuration, that will fire up xlock after 8
minutes of inactivity, or after 3 seconds if the mouse pointer is moved
to the top right 10-pixel area of the screen. If the pointer is left in
that corner after an unlock, xlock is started again after 30 seconds.
Add the three lines below to ~/.xinitrc before the line
"if [ -x $HOME/.openwin-init ]; then"
# Start xautolock in the background
xautolock -time 8 -corners 0+00 -cornerdelay 3 -cornerredelay 30 \
-locker "$OPENWINHOME/bin/xlock -allowroot -mode swarm -delay 35000" &
If the Xsun screen blanker is enabled in ~/.xinitrc (look for a line like
"xset s n", where n > 0), that line must be commented out.
xv 3.10a displays images in the GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PBM, PGM, PPM,
X11 bitmap, Utah Raster Toolkit RLE, PDS/VICAR, Sun Rasterfile, BMP, PCX,
IRIS RGB, XPM, Targa, XWD, possibly PostScript, and PM formats on workstations
and terminals running the X Window System
xv is shareware for personal use only, but commercial, government and
institutional users must register their copies. Please read the licensing
issues in the README file and send licensing
questions to email@example.com.
xv is great for interactively displaying, cropping, converting and color
correcting images, but it is not defined as a helper on this page because
the size of the program makes the startup time longer than for the other,
smaller image viewers.
Setup & Configurations
Background sounds on HTML pages
Both Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer provide a way to
automatically play background sounds after a page is loaded.
Unfortunately, MSIE uses the <BGSOUND> tag for background
sounds while Netscape uses the <EMBED> tag.
Page authors should use both if the page is intended to work with
both browsers [side note: MSIE 3.01 will apparently also recogize
<EMBED> tags if Active-X (or movie?) stuff is installed].
Pages with background sounds should therefore include tags like these
in the body of the page (the .wav format is probably most portable and
should play on most platforms):
<EMBED src="/usr/local/apache/htdocs/testlib/public_html/book/WEBMASTER/solhelpers.txt/bgsound.wav" TYPE="audio/x-wav" AUTOSTART=TRUE HIDDEN=TRUE>
<BGSOUND SRC="bgsound.wav" LOOP=INFINITE>
However, the above does not work for the Solaris version of
Netscape, since the <EMBED> tag is only for plug-ins,
and no MIDI/au/wav/aiff plug-ins are currently available for Solaris.
To enable background sounds for Solaris, a HTML page
can define a main frame where the text is shown
and a tiny frame that just
loads the audio file that should play as a background sound.
Pages authored this way work with both audio plug-ins
and audio helper applications.
Try this background sound test page that
uses a .wav file as background sound. The page sets up its
frames like this
This document must be viewed using a frame-enabled browser.
Most of the programs on this page are copyrighted by their
See the home and author links for more information.
This page copyright © 1996, 1997 by Johan Hagman.
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